Before you locate your next distribution center or warehouse, you will examine various site selection criteria. Area Development's 24th Annual Corporate Survey ranks site selection factors that corporate managers say are important or very important in their location analyses. This year more than 81 percent of respondents said inbound-outbound shipping costs were very important or important in their decisions (Figure 1), making those costs the tenth most influential site selection factor in 2009.
Future implications of inbound-outbound shipping costs on distribution networks should concern corporate managers. The volatility of fuel costs, accessibility of other modes of transportation, and major legislation currently being debated have given corporate managers a new list of worries. But building a robust distribution network can alleviate future problems.